RN Programs in Iowa

Becoming a registered nurse in Iowa is a great place to enter into the medical field. Iowa has a severe nursing shortage, so much so that RN programs in Iowa have trouble graduating enough students to keep up with the growing demand.

RN schools in Iowa are recruiting heavily for nursing students to try and increase enrollment and help elevate the strain the nursing shortage has on the health care in the state. Iowa RN programs can be difficult to get into because of the shortage of nursing educators, those who graduate from nursing programs in Iowa find work quickly upon graduation.

When you know what is involved in becoming a Registered Nurse (RN) in Iowa, you have the information to make a good career decision. RNs are needed across the country and in Iowa. Although the work is often demanding, RNs are compensated with salaries that are higher than those for many other careers. Students have the option of completing either a two-year Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) program or a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program. Both programs qualify graduates to take the exam to become licensed RNs.

RN Licensure in Iowa

RNs must be licensed to work in the state. After completing an accredited RN program, they must apply for licensure. Before the license is issued, the graduate must pass the NCLEX-RN exam.

Iowa RN Registry

Iowa Board of Nursing

River Point Business Park

400 S.W. 8th Street, Suite B

Des Moines, IA 50309-4685


RN Jobs and Salary in Iowa

Registered nurses are needed in Iowa’s home health care agencies, skilled nursing facilities, hospitals, doctor’s offices, and clinics. Iowa’s most in demand jobs are concentrated in its more populated areas like Des Moines, Davenport, and Cedar Rapids. Registered nurses in Iowa earn an average wage of $24.97 hourly, and $51,930 annually.


Iowa’s best-known and largest employers of registered nurses include:


Allen Memorial Hospital — Waterloo

Covenant Medical Center – Waterloo

Department of Veterans Affairs – Iowa City

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare – Waterloo

Mary Greeley Medical Center – Ames

Mercy Hospital in Iowa City – Iowa City

RN Programs in Iowa

Each RN program has its own requirement for admission. Some programs are very competitive and admit only students who have high school college preparatory classes. This is especially true of Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) programs, but some Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) programs also have these high standards for admission. Programs also usually require satisfactory GPAs in these high school classes, plus satisfactory SAT scores. Usually a minimum SAT score of 1000 is required. ACT scores are expected to be at least 20 or 21.

Students desiring to pursue an RN career who do not meet the strict admission requirements have several other ways to pursue their goal. They may take classes at a two-year community college to earn their ASN. They will then qualify to continue their education at a university if they wish to earn a BSN. Another way to become an RN is to take a one-year course of study at a community college to earn a Licensed Practical Nurse diploma. Once this is completed, the student usually qualifies for the school’s ASN program, which takes one more year of study to complete. The third option is to seek admittance on a probationary basis and earn satisfactory grades in the college courses.

Students are encouraged to apply around one year before they want to begin classes.

Here are some of the RN programs in Iowa that lead to an ASN:

Des Moines Area Community College

Department of Nursing

1100 7th Street

Des Moines, IA 50314


Eastern Iowa Community College

Nursing Department

306 West River Drive

Davenport, IA 52801


Hawkeye Community College

Department of Nursing

1501 East Orange Road

P.O. Box 8015

Waterloo, IA 50704-8015


Indian Hills Community College

School of Nursing

623 Indian Hills Drive, Building 12

Ottumwa, IA 52501


Iowa Central Community College

Department of Nursing

One Triton Circle

Fort Dodge, IA 50501


Iowa Lakes Community College

Nursing Department

2111 Highway 169 North

Algona, IA 50511


Iowa Valley Community College District

Health Occupations Division

3702 South Center Street

Marshalltown, IA 50158


Iowa Western Community College

Nursing Department

2700 College Road

Council Bluffs, IA 51503


Kirkwood Community College

Health Science Department

6301 Kirkwood Blvd. SW

Cedar Rapids, IA 52404


Mercy College of Health Sciences

Department of Nursing

928 6th Avenue

Des Moines, IA 50309-1239


Northeast Iowa Community College

Nursing Department

1625 Highway 150

P.O. Box 400

Calmar, IA 52132-0400


North Iowa Area Community College

Nursing Department

500 College Drive

Mason City, IA 50401-7299


Northwest Iowa Community College

Nursing Department

603 West Park Street

Sheldon, Iowa 51201


Southeastern Community College

Nursing Department

1500 West Agency Road

West Burlington, IA 52655


Southwestern Community College

Nursing Education Department

1501 W. Townline St.

Creston, IA 50801


St. Luke’s College

Department of Nursing Education

2720 Stone Park Boulevard

Sioux City, Iowa 51104


Western Iowa Tech Community College

Nursing and Allied Health Division

4647 Stone Avenue

Sioux City, IA 51106


The following list represents some of the BSN programs in Iowa:


Allen College

School of Nursing

1825 Logan Avenue

Waterloo, IA 50703


Briar Cliff University

Department of Nursing

3303 Rebecca Street

Sioux City, Iowa 51104


Clarke University

Department of Nursing and Health

1550 Clarke Drive

Dubuque, IA 52001


Coe College

Nursing Department

1220 First Avenue NE

Cedar Rapids, IA 52401


Dordt College

Nursing Department

498 4th Avenue NE

Sioux Center, IA 51250-1606

Grand View University

Division of Nursing

1200 Grandview Avenue

Des Moines, IA 50316


Iowa Wesleyan University

Department of Nursing

601 North Main Street

Mount Pleasant, Iowa 52641


Luther College

Department of Nursing

700 College Drive

Decorah, IA 52101


Mercy College of Health Sciences

Nursing Division

928 6th Avenue

Des Moines, IA 50309-1239


Morningside College

Department of Nursing

1501 Morningside Avenue

Sioux City, Iowa 51106


Mount Mercy University

Department of Nursing

1330 Elmhurst Drive NE

Cedar Rapids, IA 52402-4797


Northwestern College

Department of Nursing

101 7th Street SW

Orange City, IA 51042


St. Ambrose University

Department of Nursing

518 West Locust Street

Davenport, Iowa 52803


University of Dubuque

Nursing Department

2000 University Avenue

Dubuque, IA 52001-5099


University of Iowa

College of Nursing

101 Jessup Hall

Iowa City, IA 52242


Upper Iowa University

Nursing Education Department

605 Washington St.

P.O. Box 1857

Fayette, IA 52142

For reviews and a full list of RN programs in the state, please visit Nursing Schools in Iowa.